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Infusion Pump safety ideas?

Interested in ideas from others using multichannel pumps (2 or more cassettes) or pumps allowing concurrent flow via a single channel.  EXAMPLE:  Heparin Infusion one channel/cassette and second compatable infusion on the second channel/caasette.  Programming errors can occur when staff assume that the program they are entering is for the opposite solution.   Example --end with a rate on the heparin 75 ml / hr when the 75 was intended for the other drip.

 One idea was to use a separate pump for all high alert medications (Issue here with cost/patient mobility/band-aid on user error), other idea to limit the programming of the volume to be infused so if a programming error occurs the volume delivered will be decreased,  Other idea--two person independent verification for all high alert medication.

Would like to hear ideas from others dealling with programming safety/accuracy...    Bar coding for us is 1-2 years away.




Deb McPherson

The channels we use

The channels we use have LED screens that state what is infusing.  Also if programmed correctly we have built in guardrails that limit doses. The software out their is amazing just be sure to instill in your nurses the improtance of using it

Rose Feltner RN, BSN, CRNI
Speciality Practice Nurse
Vascular Access Team
Indiana University Hospital Bloomington
[email protected]

It seems to me that separate

It seems to me that separate pumps would not solve the problem. If the nurse programs the infusion incorrectly, it could occur just as easily on a separate pump as it could on a multichannel pump. The key would be tracing the infusion tubing from the patient to the bag before any programming is done so that the nurse is assured that the right tubing is connected to the right catheter/lumen/device and that the correct programming is set for that infusion. Having a pump that requires programming of the drug name with certain upper and lower limits of doses/rates, etc is another method. 


Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

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